Brooklyn Tortilla Plant Death Darkens Owner Erasmo Ponce’s Immigrant Success Story

We have heard by now of the gruesome accident in which Juan Baten, a 22-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, was sucked into the dough-mixing machine at the Brooklyn factory early Monday and crushed to death.Baten, who came to this country ill…

We have heard by now of the gruesome accident in which Juan Baten, a 22-year-old immigrant from Guatemala, was sucked into the dough-mixing machine at the Brooklyn factory early Monday and crushed to death.
Baten, who came to this country illegally in 2004, was supporting his mother and siblings back home on $7.25 an hour. He lived a few blocks from the factory in a tiny studio apartment with his common-law wife and a 7-month-old daughter.
But few New Yorkers have ever heard of the plant’s owner, Erasmo Ponce, who already reached his immigrant dream.

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